December 2018 in Review – Part I

Welcome once again to the monthly review where we check the status of all the weekly picks and books we covered from the previous month. This time it’s for December 2018 Part I.

With these reviews, we find out how right or wrong we were, what we missed and what you can likely still find at cover price, likely at the local comic shop or at online retailers.

First things first, we start off with the top ten books from December based on Comichron print run totals.

  1. Batman Who Laughs #1 – 220,055
  2. Batman Damned #2 – 138,719
  3. Doomsday Clock #8 – 123,768
  4. Batman #60 – 91,275
  5. Batman #61 – 88,428
  6. Amazing Spider-Man #11 – 79,799
  7. Fantastic Four #5 – 78,322
  8. Amazing Spider-Man #12 – 75,155
  9. Batman Annual #3 – 68,207
  10. Shazam #1 – 66,950
December 5th

Batman #60 Mattina Cover B Variant – 91,275

Great looking Mattina cover with a spoiler surprise at the end made this one a pick of the week back in early December.

Despite the surprise appearance, this one never took off as you can still find it at most online retailers and it never materialized above cover price range on the secondary market.

With a print run of 91k, it’s certainly an easy book to obtain.

Martian Manhunter #1 – 39,312

It didn’t heat up for long but a few Middleton variants sold in the $15 range.

You can still find these at most retailers though. I’m only mentioning this book again though due to the fact it’s a great read and I think it has great potential moving forward.

I’m just hoping Middleton continues creating some killer B covers for this series but since issue #2, it seems to have gone down to just 1 cover starting with #3.

Immortal Hulk #10 – 43,229

Sold out at most online retailers. This one also had a great looking In-Hyuk Lee Conan variant. I know, it’s a themed variant but at least it still had Hulk on the cover.

This one never took off on the secondary market but since this series is starting to look like the Marvel title of the year last year, this one could be hard to come by if searching for them in your local shops as most have made their way now to collections and the secondary market.

As supplies run dry, we could see this slowly go up in value perhaps.

Uncanny X-Men #4 Mark Brooks Hidden Gem Variant – ??

Reaching as high as $250, this one has cooled off a bit but with only 10 or less listings currently, this is definitely what one could call the HTF variant and the actual print run for just this variant will likely never be truly known.

A few recent sold listings put this in the $150 range now.

So if you can find them for cheap, buy and flip if you’re not a Mark Brooks fan. If you are a Mark Brooks fan and it’s a must have book for the collection, $150 now looks better than $250 price tag.

You can gamble and wait to see if it drops in price more but being pretty limited, we could see this creep back up over time as it becomes harder and harder to find.

Winter Soldier #1 – 26,329

Issue #1 didn’t see any heat but I’m going to mention this book basically for two reasons.

The first reason is, there’s an error book out there that is fetching some nice dollar profits. Some of the sales are in the $50 range still with the most recent sales.

The next reason is there’s a new character in this issue. #2 caught some heat but I’d have to say his actual first appearance is in this issue since we get a full page look at him with dialogue. The only thing holding it back as being labeled as a cameo instead is he’s not named in issue #1.

So keep an eye out for this issue, search found issues for the error and possibly pick up an extra copy or two just for the long term gamble for the new guy.

Grumble #1 – 2,547

This was a surprise hit if you ask me. The bubble variants were sort of unknown until release day and they caught on fire.

A set of 4 covers went for as much as $127 and a bubble variant on it’s own went for $100.

A bunch of sales landed in the $50 to $75 range for the various bubble variants. Since then, these have cooled off a bit but we’re still seeing various sales anywhere from $6 to $15 for the most part.

If you see any of these in the wild, they’re still a great pickup if you intend to flip to make a little bit of profit.

Rags #1 Second Print – 1,373

I’m not gonna go into too many details with this book. We all know this was a hot book. The second print saw some really decent secondary market sales, some around the $50 range.

But shops and collectors caught on and that bumped the print run higher one the second print than we saw on the first print, which brought the prices down to the real world. Still a solid $10 to $15 book, $15 on a good day.

Dunkirk One-Shot – 455

Such a small print run for this book which likely contributed to it’s slight success on the market.

We saw these become a $15 to $20 book with some sales and still recent sales in the $15 range.

At time of writing, Midtown had Cover A back in stock with a 60% off sale making these $6.29 before shipping. Not a bad flip if you plan to buy other books to make the shipping worthy so it’s not cutting into the potential profit margin.

Source #1 Second Print and #2 – 572 for #1 and 885 for #2

Low print runs, hard to find but these didn’t seem to do as well as the first print for #1 and #2 didn’t reach the same success.

#1 second print has a few $10 sales but with free shipping.

Issue #2 did average around the $10 range with a few peaking up over $12-$15 at times. Since those sales are starting to cool off with most now ending under the $10 range.

Ogre #2 – 921

This book didn’t knock others of the charts for secondary market sales but it did reach some success with some sales hovering around the $10 range.

Things have since cooled off. Auctions drag the value down on this book, bringing it down to cover price value while some were still selling this one for a few bucks over cover at BIN prices.

December 12th

Batman Who Laughs #1 – 220,055

Very popular new villain in the Batman Universe but ultimately when there is over 200k printed, it’s gonna take some time for this one to ever be valuable over it’s cover price.

Still features a brand new character Grim Knight so until he takes off, if that ever occurs, that’s the only reason this book will ever become valuable since the comic to get for BWL is still Teen Titans #12, which is his first full appearance.

It’s still worth mentioning but his first cameo is still in Dark Night Metals

Detective Comics #994 – 51,772

This book saw some success and still seeing some success. Sales for the B cover reached and hovered around the $10 mark. A few above and some below. A lot of slightly over cover price sales though.

Cover A flirted slightly above cover price a few times so this is definitely a book to keep an eye on and maybe even pick up if you find out in the wild.

Batman Damned #2 – 138,719

If DC hadn’t gone back and edited this book, we likely would have seen secondary market craze like we saw with Issue #1.

Also with around 40k or more printed than the first issue, this one I’d consider a dud when it comes to any spec value. I saw some sales below cover price. I think I even saw one slightly over a buck.

DC had a good thing going with their new “mature” label that they’ve now turned into Rated PG-13 label.

Still a decent read and cool art and cover by Bermejo.

Defenders Silver Surfer #1 – 38,296

I love Silver Surfer. Most if not all of these covers for this book were just awesome.

The Skan variant saw some success averaging around the $40 mark. Flip worthy if you found for cheap or cover since it was a ratio variant.

The Buscema variant also sold well but as some retailers will list this higher ratio variant at inflated prices (some starting around the $200 range) since it was a 1:200 variant, it was only really worthwhile if you found this for cheap or actually at cover (which would be surprising). These reached a peak of around $250 range but most were selling around the $200 range.

Miles Morales Spider-Man #1#1 – 57,491

Miles Morales has seen some secondary market love since Spider-Verse hit theaters.

Although this book didn’t heat up, it has made people start seeking out Ultimate Fallout #4 again as his first appearance.

Still not a bad pick up. Some sales slightly over cover price for Cover A as these are mostly sold out online.

The Animation Variant is also another must pickup if you can find them for cheap or cover which we saw a few sales reaching the $20 mark but the prices have been all over the place for this one.

X-23 #7 – 26,934

One of the winner books in my opinion of December 2018.

New first appearance. Great cover artist.

One auction of Cover B by Deodato ended at $66, which was the real winner out of the two covers. I think most shops dropped the ball in ordering the variant cover unless they had to qualify.

With such a small print run though, it’s no wonder this one took off. But remember kids, small print runs don’t make books valuable, it’s still demand. But when you mix demand + small print run that amounts to limited quantities and availability, you got a real winner on your hands.

Cover A didn’t see the same success as B but you can still potentially flip this one for a bit over cover price. Honestly I know people want Cover B but I think Cover A is the better art between the two.

Punchline #2 – 1,361

That other Antarctic book. Are you all tired yet of Rags and Punchline being mentioned?

Well, regardless, this book saw some heat. Sets were selling in the $60 to $75 dollar range.

It’s cooled off since with sales for sets going for $25 while Cover A commands a little under $10 and the soaring variant going for upwards of $15 and change.

Not a bad pick up and if you missed out, buy now or wait a wee bit longer as prices will continue to drop.

That’s all for Part I of December 2018 review. Stay tuned for the second half which will be likely brief since I don’t think we’ll have any winners worthy of mentions from the last week of December.

9 thoughts on “December 2018 in Review – Part I”

  1. Do we know what was edited out of Damned #2? What a terrible strategy by DC to not reprint #1 and screw retailers/customers… and yet people are paying $100+ for CGC copies of #2…

  2. I’ve been mostly avoiding these Conan, X-Men, Fantastic Four Villian, etc. Variants. I don’t particularly love having a book with characters on the cover that have nothing to do with the book and spec-wise they’ve fell flat (with the exception of some of the JSC covers). Anyone else making any good gains from them?

    1. Marvels ‘themed’ monthly variants are the worst. Absolutely pointless. It was hard to even make money from the ‘Venomized’ themed variants. That says it all, to me.

  3. I agree with you about X-23 Cover A. I love the cover art. So much so that I passed on the Cover B variant. Doh! Your philosophy of “always go with Cover A” is pretty much spot on, so I’ll live with a few misses if I have to. Great review!

    1. I thought the same thing when I saw that. I read issue #1 but stopped buying these. Figured if I got around to reading the series I’ll just wait for the trade to save money.

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